March 30th, 2010

A man who has learned how to control his diabetes well with diet, exercise, insulin and other diabetes medicines will speak at the next Diabetes Support Group meeting. It is scheduled at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 6, in the Maple Room on the lower level of Great River Medical Center, 1221 S. Gear Ave., West Burlington.

Minnesota resident Terry Wiley was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1985. He will discuss misperceptions about insulin, why using it is not a sign of failure and how it can help maintain blood sugar control as part of an overall diabetes treatment plan.

Wiley is a member of the A1C Champions Program®, a patient-led approach to diabetes education sponsored by sanofi-aventis, a pharmaceutical company. The A1C test measures average blood glucose levels over two to three months. A1C Champions know firsthand the challenges to managing diabetes, and understand the fear and uncertainty about taking insulin. They share information about diabetes self-management and insulin based on formal training and their personal experiences with diabetes.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 24 million people in the United States have diabetes, which is approximately 8 percent of the population. At the same time, about 40 percent of those diagnosed are not achieving A1C results of less than 7 percent, as recommended by the American Diabetes Association. Alarmingly, a 2005 survey commissioned by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists found that 84 percent of type 2 diabetes patients surveyed believe they are doing a good job controlling their blood sugar, although 61 percent say they do not know what an A1C test is.

For more information about the Diabetes Support Group and diabetes education at Great River Medical Center, please call Great River Center for Rehab and Clinics at (319) 768-4100.